Elizabeth Warren economic advisers say the rich pay the lowest tax rates of all. Laurence Kotlikoff says they are wrong. Using the most sophisticated tools available to economists, Kotlikoff finds that among 40-year-olds, the top 1% face a lifetime average net tax rate of 34.5 percent. Yet when positive and negative taxes (benefits) are included, the poorest fifth are facing a rate of – 46.6 percent. For every dollar people in the bottom fifth earn, they get 46.6 cents back from the government. More.
More than 4 in 10 patients who visit an emergency room or enter a hospital are confronted with bills for out-of-network services – even though the insurance company and the hospital led the patients to believe that their care would be in-network. In some cases, patients have faced charges that are many thousands of dollars. John Goodman’s solution: insurers and hospitals should not be able to claim the hospital is in the insurer’s network if that isn’t 100% true. Otherwise, its false and misleading advertising. More.
President Donald Trump says he wants health reform that will be better than Obamacare, better than what we had before Obamacare, and better than the Democrats’ Medicare for All. And he’s not alone. Numerous surveys show that health reform remains a top priority for Americans, who are concerned about high costs, access, and choice. More.
She proposes to abolish the ObamaCare exchanges—a signature Democratic accomplishment—and enroll participants in something resembling Medicare Advantage, a program expanded during the George W. Bush administration. That’s better than anything Ms. Harris’s Democratic rivals have proposed. It’s also better than many Republican reform ideas. More.
The Federal Reserve is paying banks 2.35 percent on their reserves. Banks are paying depositors only 0.06 percent. Competition would eliminate that gap and sensible reform would eliminate the risk of another Great Recession, says economist Laurence Kotlikoff. He points to a “narrow banking” reform, which he first proposed with John Goodman in The New Republic ten years ago. More.
In this clip titled: “How Do Swing Voters Like the Squad”, Nan Hayworth talks with Trish Regan of PrimeTime about how the new Democratic “squad” and the tension with Nancy Pelosi may influence the voters. More.
One of the nation’s leading authorities on Social Security says the system is sending out faulty information to workers, who are trying to plan for their retirement. Social Security told one worker that if he retired at age 66 he would get the monthly benefit he would actually receive only if he waited until age 70. It told him that if he retired at age 62, he would get a benefit that would actually be paid only if he waited until age 66. Kotlikoff says he has confronted the Social Security administration with the mistakes and has not received a response. More at:
An Obama regulation stipulated that employers caught giving their employees pre-tax dollars to purchase their own coverage could be fined as much as $100 per day for each employee, or $36,500 a year. This was the highest penalty in all of Obamacare regulations. Thankfully, the Trump administration is eliminating this penalty and much more. Beginning next January, employers will be able to use HRAs to help employees obtain their own coverage with the administration’s blessing. More.
Gramm and Saving: Has the Fed lost the Ability to control Interest Rates?
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former Sen. Phil Gramm and Goodman institute Senior Fellow Thomas Saving write “Never in the Fed’s 105-year history has it had less control over market interest rates than it has today…. To expect the Fed to hold interest rates above or below the market rate under these circumstances is not only naive but dangerous.” More.
What share of the tax cuts went to the rich and the poor? The richest 1 percent received 9.3 percent of the total tax cuts, but they were previously paying 30.2 percent of all the taxes. The top 20% received 52.2 percent of the tax cuts, but they were previously paying 80.1 percent of the taxes. The bottom 20% got 3.3 percent of the tax cuts. But previously they were not paying taxes at all. In fact they were receiving a 9.0 percent “refund.” More.